CRIPPLE CREEK • Seven months before his fiancee went missing, Patrick Frazee told a lifelong friend that he knew the secret to getting away with murder: “No body, no crime.”
“I said ‘Patrick, get that out of your head,’” the friend, Joseph Moore, told him.
Moore, who considered Frazee to be like a stepson, testified Friday in the first-degree murder trial that has captured national attention for the lurid and tragic circumstances surrounding the presumed death of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth.
Moore told the jury that a month after Berreth’s disappearance and before his arrest, Frazee expressed astonishment that it had become a national fascination.
“He’s like, ‘Man, if I had known it was going to blow up this big, I never would have…’ And he stopped. He did not finish that sentence,” Moore testified.
The revelations capped a week of gripping testimony about Frazee, 33, who is accused of bludgeoning Berreth to death with a baseball bat while her daughter was in a walker in a nearby storage room.
It included confirmation Friday afternoon that investigators discovered a partial human tooth at Frazee’s Florissant ranch where he’s accused of burning Berreth’s body.
Investigators said they almost didn’t find it.
The tooth was uncovered in the last shovelful of dirt removed by investigators from the burn area. The FBI special agent in charge of the evidence dig late last year had told investigators to take one more swipe of dirt when it turned up in a sifter.
Moore described a series of increasingly troubling comments by Frazee last year.
It began in April 2018, with a simple question by Moore. How, he asked Frazee, was Berreth doing?
“I figured out a way to kill her,” Frazee replied, according to Moore.
More troubling was Frazee’s habit of repeating the line “no body, no crime” multiple times over the summer and the fall of 2018, Moore said.
After Berreth vanished, Frazee repeatedly suggested that Berreth likely went into the Pike National Forest and killed herself, Moore testified.
And Frazee openly puzzled over the growing national attention to her disappearance, which was a regular feature on “Good Morning America” and other television shows.
“He’s like, ‘Why are they even investigating this?’” Moore recalled Frazee saying.
A subsequent phone conversation between Frazee and Moore helped give investigators a lead to where the body might have been disposed of.
Frazee asked Moore if he knew about “anybody messing around” a red barn. Moore said he immediately thought of a barn southwest of Cripple Creek on land the two men previously leased, and Moore tipped off investigators.
There, atop a 12-foot high haystack, was a patch of discolored hay where a trained bloodhound smelled lingering signs of decomposing human flesh, such as blood, an Elizabeth police officer testified Friday.
The testimony came as prosecutors moved to firm up testimony from Frazee’s mistress, Krystal Lee, who endured a bruising cross-examination on Thursday that hit at her credibility and motivations for taking the stand.
She testified that Frazee admitted bludgeoning Berreth to death with a baseball bat, over her plea to “please stop” — a beating that Frazee later acknowledged “wasn’t humane.”
Lee also said Frazee stashed Berreth’s body in a black plastic tote atop the haystack outside Cripple Creek before moving it to his Florissant ranch the night of Nov. 24.
There, Frazee unloaded the tote in a rusted metal water trough, added wood soaked in gasoline and lit it on fire, Lee testified. She said Frazee later added a bottle of motor oil to stoke the flames.
On Thursday, Frazee’s public defenders questioned her about a plea deal she took that required her to testify against Frazee in return for not being charged with attempted murder and accessory to murder.
Lee faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced after Frazee’s trial.
Public defender Adam Steigerwald also questioned why Lee, who has previously gone by the last name Kenney, didn’t tell police or anyone else that Frazee allegedly enlisted her help to kill Berreth and cover it up afterward.
Lee countered that she was ready to tell the truth. On Friday, prosecutors rolled through evidence meant to bolster her claims.
FBI agents said Friday that seven bloodhounds found no sign of human remains at Frazee’s ranch during an initial search in December 2018.
But a few days later, with Lee’s cooperation, the agents found a 5-by-7 foot burn area on Frazee’s upper driveway that was covered by about 1 to 2 inches of soil. The dirt differed in color from the rest of the driveway and, underneath, was a layer of melted plastic.
While shoveling off the dirt and removing the plastic, the special agent said he smelled ash and smoke, and then a burning plastic odor.
It was there — in a layer of dirt that appeared to be mixed with oil — that they found the partial human tooth, an FBI agent testified.
The FBI investigators did not testify Friday about whose tooth it is believed to be.
Frazee’s public defenders focused many of their questions Friday on what one bloodhound didn’t find: the scent of human blood inside the vast majority of Berreth’s townhouse.
Testimony is expected to resume Tuesday morning after the Veterans Day holiday Monday.